Stephen Boyd and Shirley Jones were friendly acquaintances for over 20 years in Hollywood. They also starred in a NBC Monday Night Movie Television Pilot called “The Lives of Jenny Dolan” which aired in October of 1975. Jones plays a reporter who is drawn out of her honeymoon retirement to pursue a baffling (and convoluted!) crime conspiracy. Boyd plays her handsome, demanding yet sympathetic boss. The movie also featured Farley Granger and Ian McShane. The movie was meant to be the beginning of a new television series for Jones, as the very popular “The Partridge Family” had just ended in 1974.
Shirley Jones, in an interview from 1975, explained that the concept of Jenny Dolan was comparable to the courageous Dorothy Kilgallen. Kilgallen (well known from the TV show “What’s My Line?”) had died in 1965, but her death was left open to speculation concerning her aggressive investigation of the JFK murder and the FBI. (Watch Stephen Boyd on “What’s my Line?” with Dorothy Kilgallen here!)
“I guess she would come closest to the idea of a woman reporter out in the world covering big stories.” (Oct 26, 1975, Arizona Daily Star)
Amazingly, the TV movie was filmed in just 16 days! And it does have an actual movie quality about it. Unfortunately the TV series was not picked up by NBC. It would have been a great opportunity for Stephen Boyd at the time to have been in Hollywood as a mainstay on a television series!
Shirley Jones was most notable for musicals “Oklahoma” (1955), “Carousel” (1956) and as Marian “The Librarian” in the fantastic “The Music Man” (1962) and the erstwhile mother of “The Partridge Family” in the 1970’s. Shirley is still making films!